What does Games mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary - Games
Of children (Zechariah 8:5 ; Matthew 11:16 ). The Jewish youth were also apparently instructed in the use of the bow and the sling (Judges 20:16 ; 1 Chronicles 12:2 ).
Public games, such as were common among the Greeks and Romans, were foreign to the Jewish institutions and customs. Reference, however, is made to such games in two passages (Psalm 19:5 ; Ecclesiastes 9:11 ).
Among the Greeks and Romans games entered largely into their social life. (A) Reference in the New Testament is made to gladiatorial shows and fights with wild beasts (1 Corinthians 15:32 ). These were common among the Romans, and sometimes on a large scale.
(B) Allusion is frequently made to the Grecian gymnastic contests (Galatians 2:2 ; 5:7 ; Philippians 2:16 ; 3:14 ; 1 Timothy 6:12 ; 2 Timothy 2:5 ; Hebrews 12:1,4,12 ). These were very numerous. The Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games were esteemed as of great national importance, and the victors at any of these games of wrestling, racing, etc., were esteemed as the noblest and the happiest of mortals.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words - Games
* For GAMES see CONTEND
Holman Bible Dictionary - Games
Although the Bible contains references to sports (2 Samuel 2:14-16 ) along with allusions to children's entertainment (Isaiah 11:8 ; Zechariah 8:5 ), it is silent as to the nature of these games. Archaeology provides the most valuable information on games and athletics in the ancient world.
Drawings and paintings on tomb and palace walls, sculptures and reliefs, as well as numerous artifacts illustrate recreational activities. Egyptian art depicts a wide variety of contests which required physical effort including water sports, gymnastics, and fencing. Egyptian children played “circling,” a game found drawn with accompanying instructions on the walls of several tombs. Games were also played with hoops, sticks, and other paraphernalia. A scene of children riding a mock chariot or go-cart decorates a Greek jug from about 500 B.C. Classical Greeks often turned a drinking party into lighter amusement, a game of “kottabos.”
Board Games Over 4000 years old, board games were common throughout the Middle East. Moves and captures common to most board games were carried out on specifically designed surfaces, usually a series of connecting squares or cells. Game pieces moved from one square to another according to certain rules which are still unknown. A throw of dice, knucklebones, or even heelbones (lots) determined play. In the Old Testament, lots decided things such as slave allotments (Nahum 3:10 ), apportionment of land (Joshua 18:6 ), and care of the Temple (Nehemiah 10:34 ; 1 Chronicles 24:5 ). Their use of dice or “lots” gradually extended to gambling, then to simple table games. Soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garment at the crucifixion (John 19:24 ). The knucklebones of sheep were specially suited to deciding lots since they could fall in only four positions. Dice eventually replaced knucklebones. Examples of dice have been found together with gameboards in tombs where they were placed for use in the afterlife. Sometimes lots were cast with ostraca (broken pieces of pottery).
The oldest surviving game board was discovered in Egypt. Made of clay and divided into squares, it has eleven cone-shaped playing pieces, all dated before 4000 B.C. Another game commonly referred to as “hounds and jackals” was played throughout the Fertile Crescent (Tigris-Euphrates and Nile valleys with intervening land). Numerous fragments have been found.
Its pegged playing pieces, carved with the likenesses of jackals and dogs, fit into holes in the board. A beautifully preserved example from Thebes has ivory playing pieces and three knucklebones with it. Several boards for this game were also found in Assyria. Drawn on stone slabs, some have an inscription bearing the name of the Assyrian king, Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.).
In the royal graves at Ur, four boards from about 2500 B.C. were uncovered, each a box with a surface of inlaid shells and stones forming a twenty-square pattern. Drawers in the boxes held three four-sided lots and the pieces, seven for each board. A board with a similar design was found in Knossos, Crete.
Playing pieces of varying designs as well as game boards of ivory and stone have been discovered at Samaria, Gezer, Megiddo, and other sites in Palestine. Excavations at Debir (tell beit Mirsim) in Southern Palestine unearthed a limestone board with ten glazed playing pieces and an ivory “die.” Boards for a game called “fifty-eight holes” have been found at Megiddo and in Egypt and Mesopotamia as well. Although they differ in shape and in the type of materials used to make them, each has approximately fifty-eight holes spaced around its edges and placed in varying designs across the upper surface. The examples at Megiddo date to about 1300 B.C.
Public Games The four Greek Panhellenic Games were the largest public sports contests in the Near East. Some believe that Paul was a spectator at the Isthmian Games (near Corinth), one of these international spectacles. It is evident that the apostle was familiar with athletics (Galatians 2:2 ; Philippians 3:13-14 ; 2 Timothy 2:5 ; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 ). Among the events were the pentathlon (long-jump, javelin and discus throws, running, and wrestling) and chariot races. All races were run on a long track or stadion with pylons at each end. Runners or charioteers rounded the pylons, racing back and forth instead of circling an oval track. The track at Olympia (the largest Panhellenic game) has been excavated, and its starting line was found to have provided space for twenty contestants.
Athletes were rubbed with oil and participated without clothing. Competitive spirit was vigorous, and contests were governed by few rules. Prizes for winners of the Panhellenic Games were simple wreaths of olive, wild celery, laurel, and pine. At Rome, one could see basically these same events until wild beasts were introduced into the arena. Sometimes as many as ten thousand gladiators fought at the Roman games which might last for several weeks. Herod the Great built many amphitheaters in Palestine, including one near Jerusalem where men condemned to death fought with wild animals. Men began preparing for the games as youth in “gymnasia” where facilities for practicing sporting events were provided for both young and old.
The process of hellenization (the forcing of Greek culture on the Jews) brought amphitheaters and gymnasia to Palestine. Orthodox Jews were repelled by nude athletes and games dedicated to Caesar. Trophies of ornamented wood were considered images and thus forbidden. Add to this the cruelty of the games, and it is understandable why devout Jews hated the games.
Diane Cross
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Games
GAMES
I. Among the Israelites. The Jews were essentially a serious people. What in other nations developed into play and games of various kinds, had with them a seriously practical and often a religious character. Their dances were a common form of religious exercise, which might indeed degenerate into disorderly or unseemly behaviour, but were only exceptionally a source of healthy social amusement ( Psalms 150:4 , Exodus 32:6 ; Exo 32:19 , 2 Samuel 6:14 ff., Jeremiah 31:4 , Ecclesiastes 3:4 ). Music , again was especially associated with sacred song. Its secular use was condemned by Isaiah as a sign of extravagant luxury ( Isaiah 5:12 ). Lots and the like were used as a means of ascertaining the Divine will, not for amusement or profit. Even what with children might be called games of ‘make believe’ became with some of the prophets vehicles of religious instruction. The symbolic object-lessons of Ezekiel were like children’s toys adapted to a religious purpose (see esp. ch. 4). Even this humour of the prophets, striking as it was, was intensely serious: witness the scathing ridicule of Phœnician idolatry by Elijah and Deutero-Isaiah ( 1 Kings 18:27 , Isaiah 44:12-20 ; Isaiah 46:1-2 ).
It is a matter of some dispute whether manly sports had any place in the social life of the Israelites. There was undoubtedly some sort of training in the use of weapons, particularly the sling (among the Benjamites especially) and the bow , for the purposes of warfare and the chase. We have a definite reference to the custom of practising at a mark in 1 Samuel 20:20 ; 1 Samuel 20:35 ff., and there are several metaphorical allusions to the same practice ( Job 16:12-13 , Lamentations 3:12 ). Again, it has also been thought that we have in the burdensome stone of Zechariah 12:2 an allusion to a custom of lifting a heavy stone either as a test of strength or as a means of strengthening the muscles; but there is no actual proof that there was any sort of competitive contest in such exercises. It may be suggested, however, on the other hand, that the practice of determining combats by selected champions, one or more, from either side, which we read of in 1 Samuel 17:10 , 2 Samuel 2:13-16 , and the expression used in the latter case, ‘let the young men … arise and play before us,’ makes it likely that friendly tournaments were not unknown.
Riddle-guessing is the one form of competition of which we have any certain proof. In Judges 14:12-14 the propounding and guessing of riddles as a wager appears as part of the entertainment of a marriage feast. The questions put by the queen of Sheba to Solomon probably belong to the same category ( 1 Kings 10:1 ; 1 Kings 10:3 ). Indeed, the propounding of ‘dark sayings’ was a common element in proverbial literature ( Psalms 78:2 , Proverbs 1:6 ).
Children’s Games . Games of play are so invariable an element of child life among all peoples, that it hardly needs proof that the Israelites were no exception to the rule. The playing of the boys and girls in the streets of the glorified Jerusalem ( Zechariah 8:6 ) might indeed mean nothing more than kitten play; but fortunately we have in Matthew 11:15 . || Luke 7:31 f. a most interesting allusion to the games (mock-weddings and mock-funerals) played in the market-place in our Lord’s time, as they are played in Palestine at the present day.
We read in 2Ma 4:9-17 how Jason the high priest and the head of the Hellenizing party, having bribed Antiochus Epiphanes with 150 talents of silver, set up ‘a place of exercise’ (gymnasium) for the training up of youths ‘in the practices of the heathen.’ The only game specifically mentioned is the discus. There is also mentioned in 2Ma 4:18 ‘a game’ that was held every fifth year at Tyre evidently an imitation of the Olympic games. Later, Herod the Great appears from Josephus ( Ant. XV. viii. 1) to have provoked a conspiracy of the Jews by building a theatre and an amphitheatre at Jerusalem for the spectacular combats of wild beasts, and to have initiated very splendid games every five years in honour of Cæsar. These included wrestling and chariot races, and competitors were attracted from all countries by the very costly prizes.
II. Games of Greece and Rome. Athletic contests formed a very important feature in the social life of the Greeks. They originated in pre-historic times, and were closely associated with religious worship. Thus the Olympic games were held in honour of Olympian Zeus in connexion with the magnificent temple in Olympia in Elis; the Isthmian games on the Isthmus of Corinth in honour of Poseidon; the Pythian were associated with the worship of the Pythian Apollo at Delphi; the Nemean were celebrated at Nemea, a valley of Argolis, to commemorate the Nemean Zeus. These four games were great Pan-Hellenic festivals, to which crowds came from all parts, not only free-born Greeks, but also foreigners, although the latter, except the Romans in later times, were not allowed to compete. The most important of these games were the Olympic. They were held every four years, and so great was the occasion that from the year b.c. 264 events as far back as 776 were computed by them. The period between one celebration and another was called an Olympiad, and an event was said to have occurred in the 1 JJames 2:1-26 nd, 3rd, or 4th year of such an Olympiad. The Isthmian games, which took place biennially in the first and third year of each Olympiad, seem to have been modelled on very much the same lines as the Olympic. To the Biblical student they have a more direct interest, as it is highly probable that the frequent allusions to such contests by St. Paul (see esp. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ) were due to his personal observation of these games, which must have taken place while he was at Corinth. As, however, our knowledge of the Olympic games, of which several ancient writers have left us particulars, is far more complete, it often happens that the language of St. Paul is more easily illustrated from them. It should be mentioned also in this connexion that besides these four great athletic contests, games of a local character, often in imitation of the Olympic, were held throughout Greece and her colonies in all towns of importance, which had both their stadium and their theatre. The most important of these, from the Biblical student’s point of view, were the games of Ephesus. With these St. Paul was certainly familiar, and, as will be seen below, allusions to games are remarkably frequent in writings connected with Ephesus.
The contests at Olympia included running, boxing, wrestling, chariot races, and other competitions both for men and for youths. The judges, who seem also to have acted as a sort of managing committee, with many dependents, were chosen by lot, one for each division of Elis. They held at once a highly honoured and a very difficult post, and were required to spend ten months in learning the duties of their office. For the last 30 days of this period they were required personally to superintend the training of the athletes who were preparing to compete. In addition to this, the athletes were required to swear before competing that they had spent ten months previously in training. We thus realize the force of such allusions as that of 1 Timothy 4:7-8 , where St. Paul insists on the greater importance of the training unto godliness than that of the body. These facts also add point to the allusions in 2 Timothy 2:5 . An athlete is not crowned unless he contend ‘according to regulation.’ These regulations required the disqualification not only of the disfranchised and criminals, but of those who had not undergone the required training. It is the last to which the passage seems especially to point.
The prize , while it differed in different places, was always a crown of leaves. At Olympia it was made of wild olive; in the Isthmus, in St. Paul’s time, of pine leaves; at Delphi, of ‘laurel’; at Nemea, of parsley. In addition to this, at Olympia, Delphi, and probably elsewhere, the victor had handed to him a palm-branch as a token of victory. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the honour attached to winning the prize in these contests. The victor entered his native city in triumphal procession; he had conferred upon him many privileges and immunities, and his victory was frequently celebrated in verse. His statue might be, and often was, placed in the sacred grove of Elis, and he was looked upon as a public benefactor. St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 makes use of the spirit of these contests to illustrate to the Corinthians, to whom it must have specially appealed, the self-denial, the strenuousness, and the glorious issue of the Christian conflict, drawing his metaphorical allusions partly from the foot-race and partly from the boxing and wrestling matches. ‘They do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage,’ etc.
There is a very interesting allusion to the games of Ephesus in 2 Timothy 4:7 ‘I have contended the good contest, I have completed the race … henceforth is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,’ etc. This stands in striking contrast to Philippians 3:12-16 ‘Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on … forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ Here again it is the intense eagerness of the athlete that is specially in St. Paul’s mind. We have many other allusions by St. Paul to the foot-race , as in Romans 9:16 , Galatians 2:2 ; Galatians 5:7 , Philippians 2:16 , Acts 20:24 . These generally refer to the ‘course’ of life and conduct. The last passage, it should be remembered, is addressed to the elders at Ephesus. The full significance of Romans 9:16 is missed unless we realize the intensity of effort required by the racer. The supreme effort of the will is worthless without the grace of God.
We have allusions to the wrestling match certainly in Ephesians 6:12 , where St. Paul speaks of wrestling against spiritual forces, and probably to boxing in Ephesians 4:27 , where ‘giving place’ means giving vantage-ground to the spiritual foe. In connexion with Ephesus we may notice also the allusion in Acts 19:31 to the Asiarchs the officers who superintended the games. The reference to fighting ‘with wild beasts at Ephesus’ in 1 Corinthians 15:32 is probably a metaphorical allusion to such contests as were common afterwards in the Colosseum at Rome, and were, according to Schmitz (see ‘Isthmia’ in Smith’s Dict. of Gr.-Rom. Ant .), probably introduced into the Isthmian games about this time.
Outside St. Paul’s writings there is an important reference to athletic contests in Hebrews 12:1-2 . Here the two points emphasized are: (1) the ‘cloud of witnesses’ (Gr. martyres ), whose past achievements are to encourage the Christian combatants for the faith; (2) the self-sacrifice and earnestness needed in running the Christian race. The Christian athlete must lay aside every ‘weight’ every hindrance to his work, just as the runner divested himself of his garments, having previously by hard training got rid of all superfluous flesh, and look only to Christ. Again, in Revelation 7:9 we have in the palms in the hands of the great company of martyrs a very probable reference to the palms given to the successful competitors in the games. Here, again, it should be borne in mind that it was to Ephesus and the surrounding towns, the district of the great Ephesian games, that St. John was writing.
F. H. Woods.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Games (2)
GAMES.—In the Gospels there are none of the analogies from athletic contests which are frequently drawn in the Acts and the Epistles. This variety in the range of illustration is traced without difficulty to the different interests of the readers or hearers. The Hebrews, unlike the Greeks and Romans, gave little attention to games. The climate of their land may help to account for this, but the chief reason must be found in their view of life, which made it impossible for them to look upon games with the eye of the Greek. Where the Greek had his Isthmian games, the Hebrew had his Passover, or other solemn festival. The introduction of a gymnasium by Jason (2 Maccabees 4:7-19) was accounted an act of disloyalty to the faith of his fathers, and a surrender to Hellenic influences. He was accused of neglecting the altar for the palaestra. Herod is said by Josephus (Ant. xv. viii. 1) to have instituted solemn games in honour of Caesar; but such practices never won the approval of the Rabbis, or of the nation as a whole. Jesus preached to a people who knew little of the games of the Greeks, and who had been taught to hate what they knew. But in Galilee the children played their immemorial games:
‘A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral,
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.’
(Wordsworth, Ode on Immortalily).
From such play Jesus drew a description of the generation which had listened to John the Baptist and Himself (Matthew 11:17, Luke 7:32). Two groups are playing in the market-place; the musicians are divided from the others. They pipe, but the children will not play: they suggest ‘funerals,’ but their comrades sulkily refuse to join. The parable is a vivid picture of the fickleness, sulkiness, and self-will of the contemporaries of Jesus. It is not necessary to read into the parable a condemnation of those who should have outgrown childish things but are still playing at life. The ‘musicians’ have been likened by some to Jesus and John the Baptist, by others to the people (see a discussion by Stalker in Expositor, 4th series, vol. vii. p. 29).
The soldiers probably played with dice when they cast lots for the garments of Jesus (Matthew 27:35); and they may have been playing a game when they said to Jesus, ‘Prophesy unto us, thou Christ; who is he that struck thee?’ (Matthew 26:68).
Jesus did not deal with the problems which arise in modern society from the growing importance of games in the scheme of life. As far as we know, He did not discuss the Rabbinical attitude to the Hellenic games; nor do the Apostolic writers hint of dangers to Christian converts from the contests. The ethical questions must be decided by an appeal to the interpretation of life in the Gospels, and especially to the estimate given by Jesus of the true relations between body and spirit. It is clear that to Him the body was not an end in itself (Matthew 10:28), but must become the docile servant of the soul (Matthew 18:8), even at the cost of severe discipline. Games will be approved where they give bodily effectiveness, that it may be the ‘earthly support’ of the endurance of the spirit. They Will be condemned if they lead to a neglect of the serious interests of life (Matthew 6:33), or of the duty owed to others. The Christian ideal of a life temperate and just does not include a life whose first interest is amusement, or one in which ‘distraction’ is necessary to prevent ennui (see Dorner, Christian Ethics, English translation p. 458).
Literature.—Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, art. ‘Games’; Schürer, HJP [1] , Index, s. Games’; Expositor, i. v. [2] 257.
Edward Shillito.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Games
Of children, Zechariah 8:5. Imitating marriages and funerals, Matthew 11:16-17. The earnestness of the Hebrew character indisposed adults to games. Public games they had none, the great feasts of religion supplying them with their anniversary occasions of national gatherings. Jason's introduction of Greek games and a gymnasium was among the corrupting influences which broke down the fence of Judaism, and threw it open to the assaults of the Old Testament antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:14; 2 Maccabees 4:12-14). Herod erected a theater and amphitheater, with quinquennial contests in gymnastics, chariot races, music, and wild beasts, at Jerusalem and Caesarea, to the annoyance of the faithful Jews (Josephus, Ant 15:8, sec. 1; 9, sec. 6). The "chiefs of Asia" (Asiarchs) superintended the games in honor of Diana at Ephesus (Acts 19:31).
In 1 Corinthians 15:32 Paul alludes to "fights with beasts" (though his fights were with beast-like men, Demetrius and his craftsmen, not with beasts, from which his Roman citizenship exempted him), at Ephesus. The "fighters with beasts" were kept to the "last" of the "spectacle"; this he alludes to, 1 Corinthians 4:9; "God hath set forth (exhibited previous to execution) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death, for we are made a spectacle unto the world," etc., a "gazing stock" as in an amphitheater (Hebrews 10:33). The Asiarchs' friendliness was probably due to their having been interested in his teaching during his long stay at Ephesus. Nero used to clothe the Christians in beast skins when he exposed them to wild beasts; compare 2 Timothy 4:17, "I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion" (namely, from Satan's snare, 1 Peter 5:8).
In 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have striven the good strife," not merely a fight, any competitive contest as the race-course, 1 Timothy 6:12 which was written from Corinth, where national games recurred at stated seasons, which accounts for the allusion: "strive" with such earnestness in "the good strife" as to "lay hold" on the prize, the crown or garland of the winner, "eternal life." (See TIMOTHY.) James 1:12; Revelation 2:10. Philippians 3:12-14; "not as though I had attained," namely, the prize, "or am already perfected" (Greek), i.e., my course completed and I crowned with the garland of perfect victory; "I follow after," i.e. I press on, "if that I may apprehend (grasp) that for which I am apprehended of (grasped by) Christ," i.e., if so be that I may lay hold on the prize for obtaining which I was laid hold on by Christ at conversion (Song of Solomon 1:4; 1 Corinthians 13:12).
"Forgetting those things behind (the space already past, contrast 2 Timothy 3:7; 2 Peter 1:9) and reaching forth unto those things before," like a race runner with body bent forward, the eye reaching before and drawing on the hand, the hand reaching before and drawing on the foot. The "crown (garland) of righteousness," "of life," "of glory," is "the prize of the high calling (the calling that is above, coming from, and leading to, heaven) of God in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 2:12), given by "the righteous Judge" (2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). The false teacher, as a self constituted umpire, would "defraud you of your prize" (katabrabeueto ), by drawing you away from Christ to angel worship (Colossians 2:18). Therefore "let the peace of God as umpire rule (brabeueto ) in your hearts" and restrain wrong passions, that so you may attain the prize "to the which ye are called" (Colossians 3:15).
In 1 Corinthians 9:24 the Isthmian games, celebrated on the isthmus of Corinth, are vividly alluded to. They were a subject of patriotic pride to the Corinthians, a passion rather than a pastime; so a suitable image of Christian earnestness. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians at Ephesus, and in addressing the Ephesian elders he uses naturally the same image, an undesigned coincidence (Acts 20:24). "So (with the determined earnestness of the ONE earthly winner) run, that ye may obtain" is such language as instructors in the gymnasts and spectators on the race-course would urge on the runners with. The competitor had to "strive lawfully" (2 Timothy 2:5), i.e. observing the conditions of the contest, keeping to the bounds of the course, and stripped of clothes, and previously training himself with chastity, abstemious diet, anointing, enduring cold, heat, and severe exercise.
As a soldier the believer is one of many; as an athlete he has to wage an individual struggle continually, as if (which is the case in a race) one alone could win; "they who run in the stadium (racecourse, oblong, at one end semicircular, where the tiers of spectators sat), run all, but one receiveth the prize." Paul further urges Christians, run so as not only to receive salvation but a full reward (compare 1 Corinthians 3:14-15; 2 John 1:8). Pugilism is the allusion in "I keep under (Greek: I bruise under the eyes, so as to disable) my body (the old flesh, whereas the games competitor boxed another I box myself), and bring it into subjection as a slave, lest that by any means, when I have preached (heralded, as the heralds summoned the candidates to the race) to others, I myself should be a castaway" (Greek: rejected), namely, not as to his personal salvation of which he had no doubts (Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 1:6; Titus 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:12), but as to the special reward of those who "turn many to righteousness" (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19).
So Paul denied himself, in not claiming sustenance, in view of "reward," namely, "to gain the more" (1 Corinthians 9:18-23). 1 Corinthians 9:25; "striveth for the mastery," namely, in wrestling, more severe than the foot-race. The "crown" (garland, not a king's diadem) is termed "corruptible," being made of the soon withering fir leaves from the groves round the Isthmian racecourse. Our crown is "incorruptible" (1 Peter 1:4). "I run not as uncertainly," i.e. not without a definite goal, in "becoming all things to all men" I aim at "gaining the more." Ye gain no end, he implies to the Corinthians, in your eating idol meats. He who knows what to aim at, and how to aim, looks straight to the goal, and casts away every encumbrance (Hebrews 12:1). So the believer must cast aside not only sinful lusts, but even harmless and otherwise useful things which would retard him (Mark 9:42-48; Mark 10:50; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9).
"He must run with enduring perseverance the race set before him." "Not as one that beateth the air," in a skiamachia , or sparring in sham fight, striking the air as if an adversary. Satan is a real adversary, acting through the flesh. The "so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1-2) that "we are compassed about with" attest by their own case God's faithfulness to His people (Hebrews 6:12).
A second sense is nowhere positively sustained by Scripture, namely, that, as the crowd of surrounding spectators gave fresh spirit to the combatants, so the deceased saints who once were in the same contest, and who now are witnessing our struggle of faith, ought to increase our earnestness, testifying as they do to God's faith. fullness; but see Job 14:21; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Isaiah 63:16, which seemingly deny to disembodied spirits consciousness of earthly affairs. "Looking off unto Jesus (aforontes , with eye fixed on the distant goal) the Prince-leader and Finisher (the Starting point and the Goal, as in the diaulos race, wherein they doubled back to the starting point) of our faith" (2 Timothy 3:7).
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Games
The word ‘games,’ which is not found in the Authorized Version , appears twice in the Revised Version , viz. in 1 Corinthians 9:25 and 2 Timothy 2:5. In the former passage ἀγωνιζόμενος, ‘striving,’ is the Greek term employed, and in the latter ἀθλῇ (and ἀθλήσῃ), ‘contend.’ It will be seen that in each case ‘in the games’ is supplied in accordance with the obvious sense of the verb. This provides a starting-point for the discussion of the numerous references to games that are found in the NT, the Gospels being left out of account.
1. Metaphors of St. Paul.-ἀγών, with derivatives, both simple and compound, supplies most of the material. This word is itself derived from ἄγω, ‘gather,’ which reveals the spectacular nature of the games of antiquity. While private games of many kinds were known and practised, either as simple pastimes, or for the exhibition of skill, or to satisfy the gambling instinct, games of a public order predominated, and this was more than ever the rule in the Apostolic Age. The difference remarked by Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xl. § ii. [1]) between the games of Greece and Rome was now very pronounced: ‘the most eminent of the Greeks were actors, the Romans were merely spectators.’ While the demand of the age was for spectacles, a supply of competitors had still to be found; which means that professional athletes existed, who in the case of Rome seem to have been mostly imported from Greece. It is perhaps significant of the spirit of the times that the strictly professional term (ἀθλέω) is but rarely used in the NT (2 Timothy 2:5; cf. Philippians 1:27; Philippians 4:3, Hebrews 10:32). Degeneracy had set in, and the onlookers were out of all proportion to the trained athletes who provided the sport.
This being the case, it is all the more surprising to find that metaphors and similes drawn from the sphere of athletics should, enter so largely into the language of the NT, in particular into the letters of St. Paul. It has been customary to explain this feature of the Apostle’s writings as the outcome of his experience and from his actual presence at great athletic assemblies, but now the idea is gaining ground that he drew rather upon the word-treasury of past generations, and used such figures of speech because they had become stereotyped in language and arose naturally to the mind. The same fondness for the imagery of the athletic ground has been remarked in Philo (Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) v. 206b; W. M. Ramsay, Luke the Physician, 1908, p. 294), and the opinion is widely entertained that St. Paul owed the particular metaphor of the race (e.g. 1 Corinthians 9:24 ff.) to the stoics, with whom it was a favourite idea (C. Clemen, Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish Sources, Eng. translation , 1912, p. 67). Light-foot has called attention to the striking similarity in this respect, as in many others, between the language of St. Paul and that of Seneca (Philippians4, 1878, pp. 288 and 290).
Modern exegesis has brought to view the full scope of the imagery from games, obscured in the renderings of the Authorized Version , which are retained for the sake of euphony in the Revised Version (e.g. 1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy 4:7, literally, ‘strive the good strife,’ ‘I have striven the good strife’). It is not apparent that in 2 Timothy 4:7 the figure of speech in the first two clauses is uniform and drawn from the athletic ground (contrast 2 Timothy 2:3-5). An improved reading of 1 Timothy 4:10, incorporated in the Revised Version , gives ἀγωνιζόμεθα, ‘strive,’ instead of ὀνειδιζόμεθα, ‘suffer reproach’ (Authorized Version ). The same idea of contest or striving, with the same basal form ἀγών, appears in Romans 15:30, 1 Corinthians 9:25, Philippians 1:30, Colossians 1:29; Colossians 2:1; Colossians 4:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:2, Hebrews 12:1; Hebrews 12:4, Judges 1:3. Specific features of the athletic contest are found in ‘course’ (δρόμος; Acts 13:25; Acts 20:24, 2 Timothy 4:7), ‘run’ (τρέχω; Romans 9:16, Galatians 2:2; Galatians 5:7, Philippians 2:16, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 1 Peter 4:4), ‘press on’ (διώκω; Philippians 3:12 ff.), ‘stretching forth’ (ἐπεκτεινόμενος; Philippians 3:14), κατὰ σκοπόν (‘mark,’ Authorized Version , ‘goal,’ Revised Version ; Philippians 3:14), while relevant, is not technical to racing (Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) iii. 244).
Thus far the language is suggestive of the stadium, particularly of the foot-race, although it is not forbidden to think of the hippodrome and of chariot-racing. Another event in the games is recalled by the expressive term πυκτεύω (1 Corinthians 9:26), rendered by ‘fight,’ ‘box’ (Revised Version margin), and the no less expressive δέρων (1 Corinthians 9:26), ‘beating,’ and ὑπωπιάξω (1 Corinthians 9:27), ‘buffet’ or ‘bruise’ (under the eye). ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη, ‘our wrestling’ (Ephesians 6:12), seems like an intrusion of the imagery of the athletic ground into the metaphor of the complete warrior.
Not the least interesting part of the Pauline figures of speech now being considered is related to the laws and regulations governing the public games, both beforehand and during the actual contest (1 Corinthians 9:24 ff.), and the conditions attending the giving of the prize (στέφανος, ‘crown’ or ‘wreath’). The reward to the victor follows upon the decision of the umpires (βραβευταί), and the herald’s announcement (κηρύσσειν; cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27). βραβεῖον (Philippians 3:14) is the word used for the prize bestowed according to the laws of the games (compare βραβευέτω, Colossians 3:15, ‘rule,’ ‘arbitrate,’ Revised Version margin, and καταβραβευέτω, Colossians 2:18, ‘rob you of your prize’). The immediate prize in the shape of a wreath suggests the idea of something better than itself, not only in connexion with the actual contest, where further honours were afterwards bestowed upon the victor, but also in the Christian thought of St. Paul (1 Corinthians 9:25, Philippians 4:1, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 2 Timothy 4:8) and other NT writers (James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 4:4 etc.). Some reluctance has been felt to admit the use by Jewish writers of this figure drawn from the ceremonial of the heathen games (R. C. Trench, Synonyms of the NT, 1865, p. 76f.), but it is probable that they were indirectly indebted to this outstanding phase of ancient life (HBB iv. 555b; cf. Ramsay, op. cit., p. 290f.).
While we are willing to believe that the profitable aspect of bodily training (1 Timothy 4:8) was not altogether in abeyance during the Apostolic Age, we are chiefly impressed by the historical evidence for the gross degeneracy of the public games during the 1st cent. a.d. For this deterioration the Romans must be held responsible. It is not necessary to dwell on the details of the lust for blood, both human and animal, which disfigured the public displays of the Imperial city and to a less extent of the provinces. The motto of the age was ‘bread and races’ (panis et circenses), and coupled with this was the cry: ‘The Christians to the lions l’ (Christiani ad leones). The Christians thus had a tragic interest in the ludi circenses, especially in the cruel displays of the amphitheatre. St. Paul’s experience at Ephesus may be taken as typical. There he fought with beasts (ἐθηριομάχησα, 1 Corinthians 15:32), an expression which is generally understood figuratively (see article Beast), but which is considered by McGiffert (Apostolic Age 1897, p. 280) and von Weizsäcker (Apostolic Age, i. 2 [2] 385) as setting forth actual fact. In the same city the Apostle and his friends Gains and Aristarchus came near experiencing the violence of the mob in the theatre (Acts 19:23 ff.), which was the recognized place of assembly, and even of execution following judgment (Jos. Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) vii. iii. 3). Originally designed for scenic exhibitions of a bloodless type, the theatre had developed, or rather had deteriorated, into the amphitheatre with its wholesale butcheries.
The theatre supplies NT writers with two similes: θέατρον = θέαμα, ‘a spectacle,’ 1 Corinthians 4:9, and θεατριζόμενοι (Hebrews 10:33), translated by ‘gazingstock.’ In addition to this the atrocities of the amphitheatre doubtless underlie many of the references to persecutions, being most patent in 1 Corinthians 15:32 and 2 Timothy 4:17 : ‘I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ It should be noted that this last-named experience has also been refined into a proverb (C. Clemen, op. cit., p. 134; Encyclopaedia Biblica iv. 5090 n. [3] ). Considerable uncertainty attaches to the language of Hebrews 12:4 : ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,’ in which it is tempting to see a repetition of St. Paul’s metaphor from boxing (1 Corinthians 9:26 f.), or even a reference to the extreme penalty of martyrdom suffered by some, after the example of ‘the author and perfecter of our faith.’ The blood may have been shed in sight of the circle of spectators in the amphitheatre (cf. περικείμενον, Hebrews 12:1).
2. History and archaeology.-The Jews were not exempt from the current treatment of those who had incurred the wrath of the State. At Caesarea Titus caused more than 2,500 Jews to be slain in a day, fighting with the beasts and with one another (Jos. Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) vii. iii. 1; cf. VII. ii. 1). Under this same monarch a commencement was made to the building of the Colosseum, which was dedicated and first used for gladiatorial and other exhibitions (e.g. venationes) in the reign of Vespasian (a.d. 80). The provinces soon learned to copy the evil example of the mother country (W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, 1893, p. 317ff.).
Already in the East, under Hellenic influence, ample provision had been made to satisfy the craze for public amusements. In the cities of the Decapolis there were in some instances two amphitheatres, while some possessed a ναυμαχία; and annual Παγκράτια or games of all kinds were held (G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land (G. A. Smith) 4 1897, p. 604). King Agrippa I. continued the policy of Herod the Great, building at Berytus a theatre and an amphitheatre, and giving exhibitions both there and at Caesarea (Jos. Ant. xix. vii. 5, viii. 2; cf. Acts 12:19-23). When Roman influence fully pervaded the East, the zest for sports and for blood became still more pronounced. Nero himself lent patronage, but not lustre, to the Grecian games, and took a personal part in them (a.d. 67). In the Roman province of Asia festivals with games were held, probably under the presidency of the Asiarchs (Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) i. 172). The climax was reached in the 2nd cent. a.d. (see Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 317f.). Confirmation of the wide-spread love of sport at this time is found in the well-preserved ruins of trans-Jordanic towns-e.g. Gerasa, Philadelphia, and elsewhere (G. A. Smith, op. cit., p. 598ff.; E. Huntington, Palestine and its Transformation, 1911, pp. 280f. 295).
Such facilities for games even on the verge of the Empire speak for the universal practice of heathendom. The Christians stood aloof from these displays, and became steeled against them more and more with the lapse of time. In the 3rd cent. ‘no member of the Christian Church was allowed to be an actor or gladiator, to teach acting, or to attend the theatre’ (A. Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity2, 1908, i. 301).
According to the Talmud, the religions leaders of the Jews were only slightly less rigid, although they could not altogether prevent attendance at the theatre and participation in games of chance (E. Schürer, History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] ii. i. [4] 32f., 36).
Literature.-Article ‘Games’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , Hastings’ Single-vol. Dictionary of the Bible , Imperial Bible Dict., Smith’s Dict. of Class. Antiquities, Seyffert’s, Dict. of Class. Antiquities (ed. Nettleship and Sandys); ‘Games, Classical,’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11; ‘Games and Sports’ in Jewish Encyclopedia , ‘Games (Hebrew and Jewish)’ in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics ; E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xii. (ed. Bury, vol. i. 4, 1906, p. 343ff.); W. E. H. Lecky, History of European Morals88, 1888, i. 271ff.; E. Renan, Les Apôtres, 1866, ch. xvii.; S. Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, 1904, pp. 234-244; F. W. Farrar, The Life and Work of St. Paul, 1897, Excursus iii., p. 698f.; W. Warde Fowler, Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, 1908, pp. 285-318; L. Friedländer, Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire, translation J. H. Freese and L. A. Magnus, ii. 1-130; T. G. Tucker, Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul, 1910, p. 260ff.; S. Krauss, Talmudische Archäologie, iii. [5] 102-121; E. Schürer, GJV [6] 4 ii. [7] 47-52, 60f., 67 (Eng. translation , History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] ii. i. 23-28, etc.).
W. Cruickshank.
Webster's Dictionary - Games
A modified revival of the ancient Olympian games, consisting of international athletic games, races, etc., now held once in four years, the first having been at Athens in 1896.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Games
Games and combats were instituted by the ancients in honour of their gods; and were celebrated with that view by the most polished and enlightened nations of antiquity. The most renowned heroes, legislators, and statesmen, did not think it unbecoming their character and dignity, to mingle with the combatants, or contend in the race; they even reckoned it glorious to share in the exercises, and meritorious to carry away the prize. The victors were crowned with a wreath of laurel in presence of their country; they were celebrated in the rapturous effusions of their poets; they were admired, and almost adored, by the innumerable multitudes which flocked to the games, from every part of Greece, and many of the adjacent countries. They returned to their own homes in a triumphal chariot, and made their entrance into their native city, not through the gates which admitted the vulgar throng, but through a breach in the walls, which were broken down to give them admission; and at the same time to express the persuasion of their fellow citizens, that walls are of small use to a city defended by men of such tried courage and ability. Hence the surprising ardour which animated all the states of Greece to imitate the ancient heroes, and encircle their brows with wreaths, which rendered them still more the objects of admiration or envy to succeeding times, than the victories they had gained, or the laws they had enacted.
2. But the institutors of those games and combats had higher and nobler objects in view than veneration for the mighty dead, or the gratification of ambition or vanity; it was their design to prepare the youth for the profession of arms; to confirm their health; to improve their strength, their vigour, and activity; to inure them to fatigue; and to render them intrepid in close fight, where, in the infancy of the art of war, muscular force commonly decided the victory. This statement accounts for the striking allusions which the Apostle Paul makes in his epistles to these celebrated exercises. Such references were calculated to touch the heart of a Greek, and of every one familiarly acquainted with them, in the liveliest manner, as well as to place before the eye of his mind the most glowing and correct images of spiritual and divine things. No passages in the nervous and eloquent epistles from the pen of St. Paul, have been more admired by the critics and expositors of all times, than those into which some allusion to these agonistic exercises is introduced; and, perhaps, none are calculated to leave a deeper impression on the Christian's mind, or excite a stronger and more salutary influence on his actions. Certain persons were appointed to take care that all things were done according to custom, to decide controversies that happened among the antagonists, and to adjudge the prize to the victor. Some eminent writers are of opinion that Christ is called the "Author and Finisher of faith," in allusion to these judges. Those who were designed for the profession of athletae, or combatants, frequented from their earliest years the academies, maintained for that purpose at the public expense. In these places they were exercised under the direction of different masters, who employed the most effectual methods to inure their bodies for the fatigues of the public games, and to form them for the combats. The regimen to which they submitted was very hard and severe. At first, they had no other nourishment than dried figs, nuts, soft cheese, and a gross heavy sort of bread called μαζα ; they were absolutely forbidden the use of wine, and enjoined continence. When they proposed to contend in the Olympian games, they were obliged to repair to the public gymnasium at Elis, ten months before the solemnity, where they prepared themselves by continual exercises. No man that had omitted to present himself at the appointed time, was allowed to be a candidate for the prizes; nor were the accustomed rewards of victory given to such persons, if by any means they insinuated themselves, and overcame their antagonists; nor would any apology, though seemingly ever so reasonable, serve to excuse their absence. No person that was himself a notorious criminal, or nearly related to one, was permitted to contend. Farther, to prevent underhand dealings, if any person was convicted of bribing his adversary, a severe fine was laid upon him; nor was this alone thought a sufficient guard against unfair contracts, and unjust practices, but the contenders were obliged to swear they had spent ten whole months in preparatory exercises; and, beside all this, they, their fathers, and their brethren, took a solemn oath, that they would not, by any sinister or unlawful means, endeavour to stop the fair and just proceedings of the games.
3. The spiritual contest, in which all true Christians aim at obtaining a heavenly crown, has its rules also, devised and enacted by infinite wisdom and goodness, which require implicit and exact submission, which yield neither to times nor circumstances, but maintain their supreme authority, from age to age, uninterrupted and unimpaired. The combatant who violates these rules forfeits the prize, and is driven from the field with indelible disgrace, and consigned to everlasting wo. Hence the great Apostle of the Gentiles exhorts his son Timothy strictly to observe the precepts of the Gospel, without which, he can no more hope to obtain the approbation of God, and the possession of the heavenly crown, than a combatant in the public games of Greece, who disregarded the established rules, could hope to receive from the hands of his judge the promised reward: "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully," 2 Timothy 2:5 , or according to the established laws of the games. Like the Grecian combatants, the Christian must "abstain from fleshly lusts," and "walk in all the statutes and commandments of the Lord, blameless." Such was St. Paul; and in this manner he endeavoured to act: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway," 1 Corinthians 9:27 . The latter part of this verse Doddridge renders, "lest after having served as a herald I should be disapproved;" and says in a note, "I thought it of importance to retain the primitive sense of these gymnastic expressions." It is well known to those who are at all acquainted with the original, that the word used means to discharge the office of a herald, whose business it was to proclaim the conditions of the games, and display the prizes, to awaken the emulation and resolution of those who were to contend in them. But the Apostle intimates, that there was this peculiar circumstance attending the Christian contest, that the person who proclaimed its laws and rewards to others, was also to engage in it himself; and that there would be a peculiar infamy and misery in his miscarrying. ‘Αδοκιμος , which we render castaway, signifies one who is disapproved by the judge of the games, as not having fairly deserved the prize: he therefore loses it; even the prize of eternal life. The rule which the Apostle applies to himself he extends in another passage to all the members of the Christian church: "Those who strive for the mastery are temperate in all things, now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." Tertullian uses the same thought to encourage the martyrs. He urges constancy upon them, from what the hopes of victory made the athletae endure; and repeats the severe and painful exercises they were obliged to undergo, the continual anguish and constraint in which they passed the best years of their lives, and the voluntary privation which they imposed on themselves, of all that was most grateful to their appetites and passions.
4. The athletae took care to disencumber their bodies of every article of clothing which could in any manner hinder or incommode them. In the race, they were anxious to carry as little weight as possible, and uniformly stripped themselves of all such clothes as, by their weight, length, or otherwise, might entangle or retard them in the course. The Christian also must "lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset" him, Hebrews 12:1 . In the exercise of faith and self-denial he must "cast off the works of darkness," lay aside all malice and guile, hypocrisies, and envyings, and evil speakings, inordinate affections, and worldly cares, and whatever else might obstruct his holy profession, damp his spirits, and hinder his progress in the paths of righteousness.
5. The foot race seems to have been placed in the first rank of public games, and cultivated with a care and industry proportioned to the estimation in which it was held. The Olympic games generally opened with races, and were celebrated at first with no other exercise. The lists or course where the athletae exercised themselves in running, was at first but one stadium in length, or about six hundred feet; and from this measure it took its name, and was called the stadium, whatever might be its extent. This, in the language of St. Paul, speaking of the Christian's course, was "the race which was set before them," determined by public authority, and carefully measured. On each side of the stadium and its extremity, ran an ascent or kind of terrace, covered with seats and benches, upon which the spectators were seated, an innumerable multitude collected from all parts of Greece, to which the Apostle thus alludes in his figurative description of the Christian life: "Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight," Hebrews 12:1 .
The most remarkable parts of the stadium were its entrance, middle, and extremity. The entrance was marked at first only by a line drawn on the sand, from side to side of the stadium. To prevent any unfair advantage being taken by the more vigilant or alert candidates, a cord was at length stretched in front of the horses or men that were to run; and sometimes the space was railed in with wood. The opening of this barrier, was the signal for the racers to start. The middle of the stadium was remarkable, only by the circumstance of having the prizes allotted to the victors set up there. From this custom, Chrysostom draws a fine comparison: "As the judges in the races and other games, expose in the midst of the stadium, to the view of the champions, the crowns which they were to receive; in like manner, the Lord, by the mouth of his prophets, has placed the prizes in the midst of the course, which he designs for those who have the courage to contend for them." At the extremity of the stadium was a goal, where the foot races ended; but in those of chariots and horses, they were to run several times round it without stopping, and afterward conclude the race by regaining the other extremity of the lists from whence they started. It is therefore to the foot race the Apostle alludes, when he speaks of the race set before the Christian, which was a straight course, to be run only once, and not, as in the other, several times without stopping.
6. According to some writers, it was at the goal, and not in the middle of the course, that the prizes were exhibited; and they were placed in a very conspicuous situation, that the competitors might be animated by having them always in their sight. This accords with the view which the Apostle gives of the Christian life: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,"
Php_3:13-14 . L'Enfant thinks, the Apostle here alludes to those who stood at the elevated place at the end of the course, calling the racers by their names, and encouraging them by holding out the crown, to exert themselves with vigour. Within the measured and determinate limits of the stadium, the athletae were bound to contend for the prize, which they forfeited without hope of recovery, if they deviated ever so little from the appointed course.
7. The honours and rewards granted to the victors were of several kinds. They were animated in their course by the rapturous applauses of the countless multitudes that lined the stadium, and waited the issue of the contest with eager anxiety; and their success was instantly followed by reiterated and long continued plaudits; but these were only a prelude to the appointed rewards, which, though of little value in themselves, were accounted the highest honour to which a mortal could aspire. These consisted of different wreaths of wild olive, pine, parsley, or laurel, according to the different places where the games were celebrated. After the judges had passed sentence, a public herald proclaimed the name of the victor; one of the judges put the crown upon his head, and a branch of palm into his right hand, which he carried as a token of victorious courage and perseverance. As he might be victor more than once in the same games, and sometimes on the same day, he might also receive several crowns and palms. When the victor had received his reward, a herald, preceded by a trumpet, conducted him through the stadium, and proclaimed aloud his name and country; while the delighted multitudes, at the sight of him, redoubled their acclamations and applauses.
8. The crown in the Olympic games was of wild olive; in the Pythian, of laurel: in the Isthmian or Corinthian, of pine tree; and in the Nemaean, of smallage or parsley. Now, most of these were evergreens; yet they would soon grow dry, and crumble into dust. Elsner produces many passages in which the contenders in these exercises are rallied by the Grecian wits, on account of the extraordinary pains they took for such trifling rewards; and Plato has a celebrated passage, which greatly resembles that of the Apostle, but by no means equals it in force and beauty: "Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." The Christian is thus called to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold of eternal life; and to this he is more powerfully stimulated by considering that the ancient athletae, took all their care and pains only for the sake of obtaining a garland of flowers, or a wreath of laurel, which quickly fades and perishes, possessed little intrinsic value, and only served to nourish their pride and vanity, without imparting any solid advantage to themselves or others; but that which is placed in the view of the spiritual combatants, to animate their exertions, and reward their labours, is no less than a crown of glory which never decays; "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them," 1 Peter 1:4 ; 1 Peter 5:4 . But the victory sometimes remained doubtful, in consequence of which a number of competitors appeared before the judges, and claimed the prize. The candidates who were rejected on such occasions by the judge of the games, as not having fairly merited the prize, were called by the Greeks αδοκιμοι , or disapproved, which we render cast away, in a passage already quoted from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be, αδοκιμος , cast away," rejected by the Judge of all the earth, and disappointed of my expected crown. What has been observed concerning the spirit and ardour with which the competitors engaged in the race, and concerning the prize they had in view to reward their arduous contention, will illustrate the following sublime passage of the same sacred writer in his Epistle to the Philippians: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," Php_3:12-14 . The affecting passage, also, of the same Apostle, in the Second Epistle of Timothy, written a little before his martyrdom, is beautifully allusive to the above-mentioned race, to the crown that awaited the victory, and to the Hellanodics or judges who bestowed it: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing," 2 Timothy 4:8 .
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Games
Among the Greeks the rage for theatrical exhibitions was such that every city of any size possessed its theatre and stadium. At Ephesus an annual contest was held in honor of Diana. It is probable that St. Paul was present when these games were proceeding. A direct reference to the exhibitions that I took place on such occasions is made in (1 Corinthians 15:32 ) St. Paul's epistles abound with allusions to the Greek contests, borrowed probably from the Isthmian games, at which he may well have been present during his first visit to Corinth. These contests, (1 Timothy 6:12 ; 2 Timothy 4:7 ) were divided into two classes, the pancratium , consisting of boxing and wrestling, and the pentathlon , consisting of leaping, running, quoiting, hurling the spear and wrestling. The competitors, ( 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; 2 Timothy 2:5 ) required a long and severe course of previous training, (1 Timothy 4:8 ) during which a particular diet was enforced. (1 Corinthians 9:25,27 ) In the Olympic contests these preparatory exercises extended over a period of ten months, during the last of which they were conducted under the supervision of appointed officers. The contests took place in the presence of a vast multitude of spectators, (Hebrews 12:1 ) the competitors being the spectacle. (1 Corinthians 4:9 ; Hebrews 10:33 ) The games were opened by the proclamation of a herald, (1 Corinthians 9:27 ) whose office it was to give out the name and country of each candidate, and especially to announce the name of the victor before the assembled multitude. The judge was selected for his spotless integrity; (2 Timothy 4:8 ) his office was to decide any disputes, (Colossians 3:15 ) and to give the prize, (1 Corinthians 9:24 ; Philippians 3:14 ) consisting of a crown, (2 Timothy 2:6 ; 4:8 ) of leaves of wild olive at the Olympic games, and of pine, or at one period ivy, at the Isthmian games. St. Paul alludes to two only out of the five contests, boxing and running, more frequently to the latter. The Jews had no public games, the great feasts of religion supplying them with anniversary occasions of national gatherings.

Sentence search

Games - A modified revival of the ancient Olympian Games, consisting of international athletic Games, races, etc
Amester - ) A person who plays at Games; esp. , one accustomed to play for a stake; a gambler; one skilled in Games
Caber - one used in Gaelic Games for tossing as a trial of strength. ) A pole or beam used in Scottish Games for tossing as a trial of strength
Race - [1]
Play - See Games
Race - See Games
Dancing - See Games
Amusements - See Games
Discus - See Games
Prize - See Games
Games - * For Games see CONTEND ...
Garland - stephanos ) as a prize to the victor in the Games, see art. Games
Games - ...
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Public Games, such as were common among the Greeks and Romans, were foreign to the Jewish institutions and customs. Reference, however, is made to such Games in two passages (Psalm 19:5 ; Ecclesiastes 9:11 ). ...
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Among the Greeks and Romans Games entered largely into their social life. The Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games were esteemed as of great national importance, and the victors at any of these Games of wrestling, racing, etc
Race - See Games, p
Riddles - See Games, and Proverb, 2
Wrestling - See Games, p
Ameful - ) Full of game or Games
Brelan Carre - In French Games, a double pair royal
Quinquennalia - ) Public Games celebrated every five years
Hellanodic - ) A judge or umpire in Games or combats
Athleticism - ) The practice of engaging in athletic Games; athletism
Trieterics - ) Festival Games celebrated once in three years
Olympian - of Games...
(2):...
(a
Play - 222, and Games
Agon - ) A contest for a prize at the public Games
Agonist - ) One who contends for the prize in public Games
Pentathlon - ) A fivefold athletic performance peculiar to the great national Games of the Greeks, including leaping, foot racing, wrestling, throwing the discus, and throwing the spear. ) In the modern Olympic Games, a composite contest made up of a running broad jump, throwing the javelin, a 200-meter run, throwing the discus, and a 1500-meter run
Agonistics - ) The science of athletic combats, or contests in public Games
Vivant - ) In mort, bridge, and similar Games, the partner of dummy
Agonothete - ) An officer who presided over the great public Games in Greece
Olympionic - ) An ode in honor of a victor in the Olympic Games
Cover-Point - ) The fielder in the Games of cricket and lacrosse who supports "point
Pythiad - ) The period intervening between one celebration of the Pythian Games and the next
Athletics - ) The art of training by athletic exercises; the Games and sports of athletes
Megalesian - ) Pertaining to, or in honor of, Cybele; as, the Megalesian Games at Rome
Olympiad - ) The quadrennial celebration of the modern Olympic Games; as, the first Olympiad (1906). ) A period of four years, by which the ancient Greeks reckoned time, being the interval from one celebration of the Olympic Games to another, beginning with the victory of Cor/bus in the foot race, which took place in the year 776 b
Sandlot - a vacant lot; - used especially in reference to informal Games played by children; as, sandlot baseball
Match Game - A game arranged as a test of superiority; also, one of a series of such Games
Brelan Favori - In French Games, a pair royal composed of 2 cards in the hand and the card turned
Tableman - ) A man at draughts; a piece used in playing Games at tables
Games (2) - GAMES. The Hebrews, unlike the Greeks and Romans, gave little attention to Games. The climate of their land may help to account for this, but the chief reason must be found in their view of life, which made it impossible for them to look upon Games with the eye of the Greek. Where the Greek had his Isthmian Games, the Hebrew had his Passover, or other solemn festival. 1) to have instituted solemn Games in honour of Caesar; but such practices never won the approval of the Rabbis, or of the nation as a whole. Jesus preached to a people who knew little of the Games of the Greeks, and who had been taught to hate what they knew. But in Galilee the children played their immemorial Games:...
‘A wedding or a festival,...
A mourning or a funeral,...
As if his whole vocation...
Were endless imitation. ...
Jesus did not deal with the problems which arise in modern society from the growing importance of Games in the scheme of life. As far as we know, He did not discuss the Rabbinical attitude to the Hellenic Games; nor do the Apostolic writers hint of dangers to Christian converts from the contests. Games will be approved where they give bodily effectiveness, that it may be the ‘earthly support’ of the endurance of the spirit. ‘Games’; Schürer, HJP Race - Various Games were instituted among the Greeks and Romans, in honor of their gods, and with the design of training young men to personal vigor and activity, and to intrepidity and skill in war. These Games were celebrated at stated places and times, with great pomp; renowned statesmen, legislators, and kings engaged in them; and it was deemed the highest of all honors to be crowned with a simple chaplet of laurel, olive, pine, or parsley, in the presence of the vast assemblage of witnesses who delighted to honor the victor. Among the most famous Games were those celebrated on the isthmus of Corinth, hence called the Isthmian Games; and to these Paul alludes in his letters to Corinth, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 . The foot race was a game of the first rank; other Games were the chariot-race, wrestling, boxing, leaping, and throwing the quoit or the javelin
Brelan - ) In French Games, a pair royal, or triplet
Djerrid - ) A blunt javelin used in military Games in Moslem countries
Games - Although the Bible contains references to sports (2 Samuel 2:14-16 ) along with allusions to children's entertainment (Isaiah 11:8 ; Zechariah 8:5 ), it is silent as to the nature of these Games. Archaeology provides the most valuable information on Games and athletics in the ancient world. Games were also played with hoops, sticks, and other paraphernalia. ”...
Board Games Over 4000 years old, board Games were common throughout the Middle East. Moves and captures common to most board Games were carried out on specifically designed surfaces, usually a series of connecting squares or cells. Their use of dice or “lots” gradually extended to gambling, then to simple table Games. ...
Public Games The four Greek Panhellenic Games were the largest public sports contests in the Near East. Some believe that Paul was a spectator at the Isthmian Games (near Corinth), one of these international spectacles. Prizes for winners of the Panhellenic Games were simple wreaths of olive, wild celery, laurel, and pine. Sometimes as many as ten thousand gladiators fought at the Roman Games which might last for several weeks. Men began preparing for the Games as youth in “gymnasia” where facilities for practicing sporting events were provided for both young and old. Orthodox Jews were repelled by nude athletes and Games dedicated to Caesar. Add to this the cruelty of the Games, and it is understandable why devout Jews hated the Games
Aming - ) The act or practice of playing Games for stakes or wagers; gambling
Asiarch - ) One of the chiefs or pontiffs of the Roman province of Asia, who had the superintendence of the public Games and religious rites
Decennial - ) Consisting of ten years; happening every ten years; as, a decennial period; decennial Games
Three-Handed - ) Said of Games or contests where three persons play against each other, or two against one; as, a three-handed game of cards
Gambling - Staking large sums of money or valuable articles on Games of pure chance, as for instance, dice, roulette. Playing for small stakes, Games that depend more or less on skill, is not gambling
Gaming - Staking large sums of money or valuable articles on Games of pure chance, as for instance, dice, roulette. Playing for small stakes, Games that depend more or less on skill, is not gambling
Singleton - ) In certain Games at cards, as whist, a single card of any suit held at the deal by a player; as, to lead a singleton
Quadrennial - ) Occurring once in four years, or at the end of every four years; as, quadrennial Games
Oose Egg - In Games, a zero; a score or record of naught; - so named in allusion to the egglike outline of the zero sign 0
Games - Paul was present when these Games were proceeding. Paul's epistles abound with allusions to the Greek contests, borrowed probably from the Isthmian Games, at which he may well have been present during his first visit to Corinth. (1 Corinthians 4:9 ; Hebrews 10:33 ) The Games were opened by the proclamation of a herald, (1 Corinthians 9:27 ) whose office it was to give out the name and country of each candidate, and especially to announce the name of the victor before the assembled multitude. The judge was selected for his spotless integrity; (2 Timothy 4:8 ) his office was to decide any disputes, (Colossians 3:15 ) and to give the prize, (1 Corinthians 9:24 ; Philippians 3:14 ) consisting of a crown, (2 Timothy 2:6 ; 4:8 ) of leaves of wild olive at the Olympic Games, and of pine, or at one period ivy, at the Isthmian Games. The Jews had no public Games, the great feasts of religion supplying them with anniversary occasions of national gatherings
Apollinarian - ) In honor of Apollo; as, the Apollinarian Games
Olympic - of Games...
Floral - ) Pertaining to Flora, or to flowers; made of flowers; as, floral Games, wreaths
Couleur - ) A suit of cards, as hearts or clubs; - used in some French Games
Chiefs of Asia - "Asiarchs," the title given to certain wealthy persons annually appointed to preside over the religious festivals and Games in the various cities of proconsular Asia (Acts 19:31 )
Batting - ) The act of one who bats; the management of a bat in playing Games of ball
Ymnastical - ) Pertaining to athletic exercises intended for health, defense, or diversion; - said of Games or exercises, as running, leaping, wrestling, throwing the discus, the javelin, etc
Maidmarian - ) The lady of the May Games; one of the characters in a morris dance; a May queen
Dribble - ) In football and similar Games, to dribble the ball. ) In various Games, to propel (the ball) by successive slight hits or kicks so as to keep it always in control
Contend - , "athlete"), "to contend in public Games," is used in 2 Timothy 2:5 , RV, "contend in the Games," for the AV, "strive for the masteries. ...
Note: In 1 Corinthians 9:25 , the verb agonizomai, "to strive," is used in the same connection, RV, "striveth in the Games
Decathlon - ) In the modern Olympic Games, a composite contest consisting of a 100-meter run, a broad jump, putting the shot, a running high-jump, a 400-meter run, throwing the discus, a 100-meter hurdle race, pole vaulting, throwing the javelin, and a 1500-meter run
Games - Games...
I. What in other nations developed into play and Games of various kinds, had with them a seriously practical and often a religious character. Even what with children might be called Games of ‘make believe’ became with some of the prophets vehicles of religious instruction. ...
Children’s Games . Games of play are so invariable an element of child life among all peoples, that it hardly needs proof that the Israelites were no exception to the rule. a most interesting allusion to the Games (mock-weddings and mock-funerals) played in the market-place in our Lord’s time, as they are played in Palestine at the present day. There is also mentioned in 2Ma 4:18 ‘a game’ that was held every fifth year at Tyre evidently an imitation of the Olympic Games. 1) to have provoked a conspiracy of the Jews by building a theatre and an amphitheatre at Jerusalem for the spectacular combats of wild beasts, and to have initiated very splendid Games every five years in honour of Cæsar. Games of Greece and Rome. Thus the Olympic Games were held in honour of Olympian Zeus in connexion with the magnificent temple in Olympia in Elis; the Isthmian Games on the Isthmus of Corinth in honour of Poseidon; the Pythian were associated with the worship of the Pythian Apollo at Delphi; the Nemean were celebrated at Nemea, a valley of Argolis, to commemorate the Nemean Zeus. These four Games were great Pan-Hellenic festivals, to which crowds came from all parts, not only free-born Greeks, but also foreigners, although the latter, except the Romans in later times, were not allowed to compete. The most important of these Games were the Olympic. The Isthmian Games, which took place biennially in the first and third year of each Olympiad, seem to have been modelled on very much the same lines as the Olympic. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ) were due to his personal observation of these Games, which must have taken place while he was at Corinth. As, however, our knowledge of the Olympic Games, of which several ancient writers have left us particulars, is far more complete, it often happens that the language of St. It should be mentioned also in this connexion that besides these four great athletic contests, Games of a local character, often in imitation of the Olympic, were held throughout Greece and her colonies in all towns of importance, which had both their stadium and their theatre. The most important of these, from the Biblical student’s point of view, were the Games of Ephesus. Paul was certainly familiar, and, as will be seen below, allusions to Games are remarkably frequent in writings connected with Ephesus. ...
There is a very interesting allusion to the Games of Ephesus in 2 Timothy 4:7 ‘I have contended the good contest, I have completed the race … henceforth is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,’ etc. In connexion with Ephesus we may notice also the allusion in Acts 19:31 to the Asiarchs the officers who superintended the Games. ), probably introduced into the Isthmian Games about this time. Again, in Revelation 7:9 we have in the palms in the hands of the great company of martyrs a very probable reference to the palms given to the successful competitors in the Games. Here, again, it should be borne in mind that it was to Ephesus and the surrounding towns, the district of the great Ephesian Games, that St
Asiar'Chae - They had charge of the public Games and religious theatrical spectacles, the expenses of which they bore
Pickup - ) Act of picking up, as, in various Games, the fielding or hitting of a ball just after it strikes the ground
Equestrian - ) Of or pertaining to horses or horsemen, or to horsemanship; as, equestrian feats, or Games
Crown - The crown or wreath worn by the victors in the Olympic Games was made of leaves of the wild olive; in the Pythian Games, of laurel; in the Nemean Games, of parsley; and in the Isthmian Games, of the pine
Agrippa - He died suddenly at the Games in Cæsarea in 44 CE
Games - The word ‘games,’ which is not found in the Authorized Version , appears twice in the Revised Version , viz. ’ It will be seen that in each case ‘in the Games’ is supplied in accordance with the obvious sense of the verb. This provides a starting-point for the discussion of the numerous references to Games that are found in the NT, the Gospels being left out of account. This word is itself derived from ἄγω, ‘gather,’ which reveals the spectacular nature of the Games of antiquity. While private Games of many kinds were known and practised, either as simple pastimes, or for the exhibition of skill, or to satisfy the gambling instinct, Games of a public order predominated, and this was more than ever the rule in the Apostolic Age. 218]'>[1]) between the Games of Greece and Rome was now very pronounced: ‘the most eminent of the Greeks were actors, the Romans were merely spectators. ...
Modern exegesis has brought to view the full scope of the imagery from Games, obscured in the renderings of the Authorized Version , which are retained for the sake of euphony in the Revised Version (e. Another event in the Games is recalled by the expressive term πυκτεύω (1 Corinthians 9:26), rendered by ‘fight,’ ‘box’ (Revised Version margin), and the no less expressive δέρων (1 Corinthians 9:26), ‘beating,’ and ὑπωπιάξω (1 Corinthians 9:27), ‘buffet’ or ‘bruise’ (under the eye). ...
Not the least interesting part of the Pauline figures of speech now being considered is related to the laws and regulations governing the public Games, both beforehand and during the actual contest (1 Corinthians 9:24 ff. βραβεῖον (Philippians 3:14) is the word used for the prize bestowed according to the laws of the Games (compare βραβευέτω, Colossians 3:15, ‘rule,’ ‘arbitrate,’ Revised Version margin, and καταβραβευέτω, Colossians 2:18, ‘rob you of your prize’). Some reluctance has been felt to admit the use by Jewish writers of this figure drawn from the ceremonial of the heathen Games (R. ...
While we are willing to believe that the profitable aspect of bodily training (1 Timothy 4:8) was not altogether in abeyance during the Apostolic Age, we are chiefly impressed by the historical evidence for the gross degeneracy of the public Games during the 1st cent. In the cities of the Decapolis there were in some instances two amphitheatres, while some possessed a ναυμαχία; and annual Παγκράτια or Games of all kinds were held (G. Nero himself lent patronage, but not lustre, to the Grecian Games, and took a personal part in them (a. In the Roman province of Asia festivals with Games were held, probably under the presidency of the Asiarchs (Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) i. ...
Such facilities for Games even on the verge of the Empire speak for the universal practice of heathendom. ...
According to the Talmud, the religions leaders of the Jews were only slightly less rigid, although they could not altogether prevent attendance at the theatre and participation in Games of chance (E. -Article ‘Games’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , Hastings’ Single-vol. Nettleship and Sandys); ‘Games, Classical,’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11; ‘Games and Sports’ in Jewish Encyclopedia , ‘Games (Hebrew and Jewish)’ in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics ; E
Jink - ) In the Games of spoilfive and forty-five, to win the game by taking all five tricks; also, to play to win all five tricks, losing what has been already won if unsuccessful
Ame - ) A contest, physical or mental, according to certain rules, for amusement, recreation, or for winning a stake; as, a game of chance; Games of skill; field Games, etc. ) In some Games, a point credited on the score to the player whose cards counts up the highest
Asiarchs - They had charge of the public Games and religious festivals
Laurel - Garlands of leaves from the laurel or bay tree (Laurus nobilis) were used by the Greeks to honor the winners of the Pythian Games
Skunk - ) In Games of chance and skill: To defeat (an opponent) (as in cards) so that he fails to gain a point, or (in checkers) to get a king
Circus - It was used for chariot races, Games, and public shows
Muggins - ) In certain Games, to score against, or take an advantage over (an opponent), as for an error, announcing the act by saying "muggins
Faction - ) One of the divisions or parties of charioteers (distinguished by their colors) in the Games of the circus
Organ - and provided music for Roman Games and combats
Castaway - Paul, however, somewhat extends the metaphor, for the context shows that the ancient Games, or, as he is writing to Corinthians, the Isthmian Games, are in his mind
Fight - 1, denotes (a) "to contend" in the public Games, 1 Corinthians 9:25 ("striveth in the Games," RV); (b) "to fight, engage in conflict," John 18:36 ; (c) metaphorically, "to contend" perseveringly against opposition and temptation, 1 Timothy 6:12 ; 2 Timothy 4:7 (cp. 1; in regard to the meaning there, the evidence of Koine inscriptions is against the idea of Games-contests); to strive as in a contest for a prize, straining every nerve to attain to the object, Luke 13:24 ; to put forth every effort, involving toil, Colossians 1:29 ; 1 Timothy 4:10 (some mss. ...
B — 2: πυκτεύω (Strong's #4438 — Verb — pukteuo — pook-teh'-o ) "to box" (from puktes, "a pugilist"), one of the events in the Olympic Games, is translated "fight" in 1 Corinthians 9:26
Agony - a contest with bodily exertion a word used to denote the athletic Games, in Greece whence anguish, solicitude from L
Marriage - ) In bezique, penuchle, and similar Games at cards, the combination of a king and queen of the same suit
Asia - The "chiefs of Asia" (Acts 19:31 ) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the Games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged
Asiarchs - Officers, like the Roman aediles and Greek leitourgoi , yearly chosen by the cities in that part of Asia of which Ephesus was metropolis, to defray the cost and to undertake all the arrangements of the national Games and theatrical sacred spectacles
Asiarchs - They underwrote expenses of Games sponsored in connection with religious festivals
Crown - A — 1: στέφανος (Strong's #4735 — Noun Masculine — stephanos — stef'-an-os ) primarily, "that which surrounds, as a wall or crowd" (from stepho, "to encircle"), denotes (a) "the victor's crown," the symbol of triumph in the Games or some such contest; hence, by metonymy, a reward or prize; (b) "a token of public honor" for distinguished service, military prowess, etc. In some passages the reference to the Games is clear, 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; 2 Timothy 4:8 ("crown of righteousness"); it may be so in 1 Peter 5:4 , where the fadeless character of "the crown of glory" is set in contrast to the garlands of earth. ...
B — 1: στεφανόω (Strong's #4737 — Verb — stephanoo — stef-an-o'-o ) "to crown," conforms in meaning to stephanos; it is used of the reward of victory in the Games, in 2 Timothy 2:5 ; of the glory and honor bestowed by God upon man in regard to his position in creation, Hebrews 2:7 ; of the glory and honor bestowed upon the Lord Jesus in His exaltation, Hebrews 2:9
Hob - ) A peg, pin, or mark used as a target in some Games, as an iron pin in quoits; also, a game in which such a target is used
Oal - ) A base, station, or bound used in various Games; in football, a line between two posts across which the ball must pass in order to score; also, the act of kicking the ball over the line between the goal posts
Whitewash - ) In various Games, to defeat (an opponent) so that he fails to score, or to reach a certain point in the game; to skunk
Morris - ) A dance formerly common in England, often performed in pagenats, processions, and May Games
Widow - ) In various Games, any extra hand or part of a hand, as one dealt to the table
Skat - The players bid for the privilege of attempting any of several Games or tasks, in most of which the player undertaking the game must take tricks counting in aggregate at least 61 (the counting cards being ace 11, ten 10, king 4, queen 3, jack 2)
Crown - , were given to victors in the ancient Games; hence the Christian's final prize is represented as a crown, the symbol of successful contest, the appropriate ornament of the royal dignity conferred upon him
Bye - ) In certain Games, a station or place of an individual player
Games - Games and combats were instituted by the ancients in honour of their gods; and were celebrated with that view by the most polished and enlightened nations of antiquity. The victors were crowned with a wreath of laurel in presence of their country; they were celebrated in the rapturous effusions of their poets; they were admired, and almost adored, by the innumerable multitudes which flocked to the Games, from every part of Greece, and many of the adjacent countries. But the institutors of those Games and combats had higher and nobler objects in view than veneration for the mighty dead, or the gratification of ambition or vanity; it was their design to prepare the youth for the profession of arms; to confirm their health; to improve their strength, their vigour, and activity; to inure them to fatigue; and to render them intrepid in close fight, where, in the infancy of the art of war, muscular force commonly decided the victory. In these places they were exercised under the direction of different masters, who employed the most effectual methods to inure their bodies for the fatigues of the public Games, and to form them for the combats. When they proposed to contend in the Olympian Games, they were obliged to repair to the public gymnasium at Elis, ten months before the solemnity, where they prepared themselves by continual exercises. Farther, to prevent underhand dealings, if any person was convicted of bribing his adversary, a severe fine was laid upon him; nor was this alone thought a sufficient guard against unfair contracts, and unjust practices, but the contenders were obliged to swear they had spent ten whole months in preparatory exercises; and, beside all this, they, their fathers, and their brethren, took a solemn oath, that they would not, by any sinister or unlawful means, endeavour to stop the fair and just proceedings of the Games. Hence the great Apostle of the Gentiles exhorts his son Timothy strictly to observe the precepts of the Gospel, without which, he can no more hope to obtain the approbation of God, and the possession of the heavenly crown, than a combatant in the public Games of Greece, who disregarded the established rules, could hope to receive from the hands of his judge the promised reward: "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully," 2 Timothy 2:5 , or according to the established laws of the Games. " It is well known to those who are at all acquainted with the original, that the word used means to discharge the office of a herald, whose business it was to proclaim the conditions of the Games, and display the prizes, to awaken the emulation and resolution of those who were to contend in them. ‘Αδοκιμος , which we render castaway, signifies one who is disapproved by the judge of the Games, as not having fairly deserved the prize: he therefore loses it; even the prize of eternal life. The foot race seems to have been placed in the first rank of public Games, and cultivated with a care and industry proportioned to the estimation in which it was held. The Olympic Games generally opened with races, and were celebrated at first with no other exercise. From this custom, Chrysostom draws a fine comparison: "As the judges in the races and other Games, expose in the midst of the stadium, to the view of the champions, the crowns which they were to receive; in like manner, the Lord, by the mouth of his prophets, has placed the prizes in the midst of the course, which he designs for those who have the courage to contend for them. These consisted of different wreaths of wild olive, pine, parsley, or laurel, according to the different places where the Games were celebrated. As he might be victor more than once in the same Games, and sometimes on the same day, he might also receive several crowns and palms. The crown in the Olympic Games was of wild olive; in the Pythian, of laurel: in the Isthmian or Corinthian, of pine tree; and in the Nemaean, of smallage or parsley. The candidates who were rejected on such occasions by the judge of the Games, as not having fairly merited the prize, were called by the Greeks αδοκιμοι , or disapproved, which we render cast away, in a passage already quoted from St
Busk - On the fourth day there are feasting, dancing, and Games
Love of God: Shed Abroad by the Holy Ghost - Frequently at the great Roman Games, the emperors, in order to gratify the citizens of Rome, would cause sweet perfumes to be rained down upon them through the awning which covered the amphitheatre
Chip - ) One of the counters used in poker and other Games
Stone - The allusion in Revelation 2:17 may be to the practice at the Olympic Games of giving the successful competitor a white stone, inscribed with his name and the value of his prize; or to the mode of balloting with black and white stones on the question of the acquittal of an accused person, or his admission to certain privileges; if the stones deposited in the urn by the judges were all white, the decision was favorable
Conflict - 1: ἀγών (Strong's #73 — Noun Masculine — agon — ag-one' ) from ago, "to lead," signifies (a) "a place of assembly," especially the place where the Greeks assembled for the Olympic and Pythian Games; (b) "a contest of athletes," metaphorically, 1 Timothy 6:12 ; 2 Timothy 4:7 , "fight;" Hebrews 12:1 , "race;" hence, (c) "the inward conflict of the soul;" inward "conflict" is often the result, or the accompaniment, of outward "conflict," Phil
Rome - 64, after the great conflagration, Christians, wrapped in skins of beasts, were torn by dogs, or, clothed in inflammable stuffs, were burnt as torches during the midnight Games; others were crucified. In the colosseum, a vast theatre, Games of various sorts and gladiatorial shows were held, and within its arena many Christians, during the ages of persecution, fought with wild beasts, and many were slain tor their faith
Games - The earnestness of the Hebrew character indisposed adults to Games. Public Games they had none, the great feasts of religion supplying them with their anniversary occasions of national gatherings. Jason's introduction of Greek Games and a gymnasium was among the corrupting influences which broke down the fence of Judaism, and threw it open to the assaults of the Old Testament antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:14; 2 Maccabees 4:12-14). The "chiefs of Asia" (Asiarchs) superintended the Games in honor of Diana at Ephesus (Acts 19:31). ...
In 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have striven the good strife," not merely a fight, any competitive contest as the race-course, 1 Timothy 6:12 which was written from Corinth, where national Games recurred at stated seasons, which accounts for the allusion: "strive" with such earnestness in "the good strife" as to "lay hold" on the prize, the crown or garland of the winner, "eternal life. ...
In 1 Corinthians 9:24 the Isthmian Games, celebrated on the isthmus of Corinth, are vividly alluded to. Pugilism is the allusion in "I keep under (Greek: I bruise under the eyes, so as to disable) my body (the old flesh, whereas the Games competitor boxed another I box myself), and bring it into subjection as a slave, lest that by any means, when I have preached (heralded, as the heralds summoned the candidates to the race) to others, I myself should be a castaway" (Greek: rejected), namely, not as to his personal salvation of which he had no doubts (Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Timothy 1:12), but as to the special reward of those who "turn many to righteousness" (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19)
Rob - brabeion, "a prize in the Games," 1 Corinthians 9:24 ; Philippians 3:14 , and brabeuo, "to act as an umpire, arbitrate," Colossians 3:15 ), occurs in Colossians 2:18 , RV, "let (no man) rob (you) of your prize" (AV, "
Book - ) Six tricks taken by one side, in the game of whist; in certain other Games, two or more corresponding cards, forming a set
Nicopolis, - ...
The importance of Nicopolis depended partly on the ‘Actian Games,’ partly on some commerce and fisheries
Service: the Road to Honour - When the Spartan king advanced against the enemy, he had always with him some one that had been crowned in the public Games of Greece
Corinth - 1 Corinthians 16:6; Romans 16:1, He wrote two letters to the Christians in that city, rebuking their sins, and refers to the Isthmian Games celebrated at Corinth every Olympiad
Bat - ) In badminton, tennis, and similar Games, a racket
Lamentation - It is applied equally to sorrow for the dead and to grief for approaching disaster (Matthew 2:18, John 16:20, Luke 23:27), and it is referred to by the Lord as one of the common Games of children
Market, Market-Place - , business dealings such as the hiring of laborers, Matthew 20:3 ; the buying and selling of goods, Mark 7:4 (involving risk of pollution); the Games of children, Matthew 11:16 ; Luke 7:32 ; exchange of greetings, Matthew 23:7 ; Mark 12:38 ; Luke 11:43 ; 20:46 ; the holding of trials, Acts 16:19 ; public discussions, Acts 17:17
Dancing - ...
Children liked to dance in some of the Games they played (Job 21:11; Matthew 11:17), and people in general liked to dance at some of Israel’s more joyous religious festivals (Judges 21:19-21)
Sports - It was to this effect: "That for his good people's recreation his Majesty's pleasure was, that, after the end of divine service, they should not be disturbed, letted, or discouraged, from any lawful recreations; such as dancing, either of men or women; archery for men; leaping, vaulting, or any such harmless recreations; nor having of may-games, whitsonales, or morrice dances; or setting up of May poles, and other sports therewith used, so as the same may be had in due and convenient time, without impediment or let of divine service; and that women should have leave to carry rushes to the church for the decorating of it, according to their old customs; withal prohibiting all unlawful Games to be used on Sundays only; as bear-baiting, bull-baiting, interludes, and at all times (in the meaner sort of people prohibited) bowling
Asiarch - 155), where two separate persons named Philippos have been confused: (1) Philip of Smyrna, Asiarch, who superintended the Games; (2) Philip of Tralles, who was high priest of Asia (the latter had been an Asiarch a year or two before). The high priest presided over the Games, etc. Their election by their fellow-citizens to this honorary position was rewarded by Games and gladiatorial shows
Racket - It is furnished with a handle, and is used for catching or striking a ball in tennis and similar Games
Lawful, Lawfully - " In 2 Timothy 2:5 it is used of contending in the Games and adhering to the rules
Crown - Crowns or garlands were given to the successful competitors at the Grecian Games, to which frequent allusion is made in the Epistle, 2 Timothy 4:7,8
Man - ) One of the piece with which certain Games, as chess or draughts, are played
Smyr'na - Olympian Games were celebrated here, and excited great interest
Revelling - There was (1) the more regular and orderly κῶμος, the festal procession in honour of the victors at the Games, partaking of the nature of a chorus
Fish - ) A counter, used in various Games
Warm - ) In children's Games, being near the object sought for; hence, being close to the discovery of some person, thing, or fact concealed
Drive - ) In various Games, as tennis, cricket, etc. , in various Games, as tennis, baseball, etc
Shot - ) A stroke or propulsive action in certain Games, as in billiards, hockey, curling, etc
Stones - (Joshua 7:26 ; 8:29 ; 2 Samuel 18:17 ) The "white stone" noticed in (Revelation 2:17 ) has been variously regarded as referring to the pebble of acquittal used in the Greek courts; to the lot cast in elections in Greece to both these combined; to the stones in the high priest's breastplate; to the tickets presented to the victor at the public Games; or, lastly, to the custom of writing on stones
Follow - , in some Games, as billiards, a stroke causing a ball to follow another ball after hitting it
Abel-Mizraim - The usual Egyptian rites on such occasions consisted in banquets and Games, as Egyptian monuments show
Home - ) In various Games, the ultimate point aimed at in a progress; goal...
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Caesarea - It was inhabited chiefly by Greeks, and Herod established in it quinquennial Games in honor of the emperor
Crown - The laurel, pine or parsley crowns given to victors int he great Games of Greece are finely alluded to by St
Philippus, the Arabian - In 248 the Games to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of the foundation of Rome were celebrated with great splendour. (3) He celebrated the millennial Games with heathen rites
Money-Making: Nothing But Play - The first of all English Games is making money
Counter - ) A piece of metal, ivory, wood, or bone, used in reckoning, in keeping account of Games, etc
Feast - A ceremony of feasting joy and thanksgiving on stated days, in commemoration of some great event, or in honor of some distinguished personage an anniversary, periodical or stated celebration of some event a festival as on occasion of the Games in Greece, and the feast of the passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles among the Jews
Ape - 19: "At the Games given by Pompey the Great," says he, "were shown cephs brought from Ethiopia, which had their fore feet like a human hand, their hind legs and feet also resembled those of a man
Pack - A number of cards, or the number used in Games so called from being inclosed together
See - ) In poker and similar Games at cards, to meet (a bet), or to equal the bet of (a player), by staking the same sum
Diadem - ...
The diadem should be distinguished from the wreath given for victory in athletic Games (1 Corinthians 9:25 ), for civil accomplishments, for military bravery, and for weddings
Ball - ) A general name for Games in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or knocked
Caesarea - Here on a "set day," when Games were celebrated in the theatre in honour of the emperor Claudius, Herod Agrippa I
Pool - ) The stake played for in certain Games of cards, billiards, etc
Race - The race was one of the exercises of the Grecian Games
Exercise - 1), 1 Timothy 4:8 , where the immediate reference is probably not to mere physical training for Games but to discipline of the body such as that to which the Apostle refers in 1 Corinthians 9:27 , though there may be an allusion to the practices of asceticism
Nero - He attempted to turn the crowds of Rome away from the brutal gladitorial contests to an appreciation of the Greek-style Olympic Games and other forms of cultural competition
Garlands - word στέφανος, which is usually translated ‘crown’ in the English version, is more correctly rendered ‘wreath’ or ‘garland,’ and, like the στέμματα (fillets) of Acts 14:13, consisted of leaves or flowers, and was not only used in sacrifices but awarded as a prize to victors in war or at the Games (cf
Foul - ) In various Games or sports, an act done contrary to the rules; a foul stroke, hit, play, or the like
Lent - All public Games and stage plays were prohibited at this season, and also the celebration of all festivals, birthdays, and marriages
Rome - ...
Real sites are the Colosseum and Nero's gardens in the Vatican near to Peter's; in them Christians wrapped in beasts' skins were torn by dogs, or clothed in inflammable stuffs were burnt as torches during the midnight Games! Others were crucified (Tacitus, Annals xv
Dead - ) Out of play; regarded as out of the game; - said of a ball, a piece, or a player under certain conditions in cricket, baseball, checkers, and some other Games
Die - ) A small cube, marked on its faces with spots from one to six, and used in playing Games by being shaken in a box and thrown from it
Law - ) In arts, works, Games, etc
Assembly - ...
2: πανήγυρις (Strong's #3831 — Noun Feminine — paneguris — pan-ay'-goo-ris ) from pan, "all," and agora, "any kind of assembly," denoted, among the Greeks, an assembly of the people in contrast to the council of national leaders, or a "gathering" of the people in honor of a god, or for some public festival, such as the Olympic Games
Peregrinus, Called Proteus - He next passed into Greece, and there, to obtain a greater notoriety, burned himself alive at the Olympic Games at the 236th Olympiad a
Burn - ) In certain Games, to approach near to a concealed object which is sought
Cenchreae - Between Cenchreae and Schœnus was a famous sanctuary, in which stood ‘the temple of Isthmian Neptune, shaded above with a grove of pine-trees, where the Corinthians celebrated the Isthmian Games’ (Strabo, loc
Dancing - Children played Games of “dance” (Job 21:11 ), often with the accompaniment of a musical instrument (Matthew 11:17 ; Luke 7:32 )
Frame - ) In Games: (a) In pool, the triangular form used in setting up the balls; also, the balls as set up, or the round of playing required to pocket them all; as, to play six frames in a game of 50 points
General Chronology - , by Olympiads (periods of four years intervening between the Olympic Games)
Prize - 1: βραβεῖον (Strong's #1017 — Noun Neuter — brabeion — brab-i'-on ) "a prize bestowed in connection with the Games" (akin to brabeus, "an umpire," and brabeuo, "to decide, arbitrate," "rule," Colossians 3:15 ), 1 Corinthians 9:24 , is used metaphorically of "the reward" to be obtained hereafter by the faithful believer, Philippians 3:14 ; the preposition eis, "unto," indicates the position of the goal
Bank - ) In certain Games, as dominos, a fund of pieces from which the players are allowed to draw
School - This word seems originally to have denoted leisure, freedom from business, a time given to sports, Games or exercises, and afterwards time given to literary studies
Corinth - Being near the site of the Isthmian Games held every two years, the Corinthians enjoyed both the pleasures of these Games and the wealth that the visitors brought to the city
Liturgy - Among the ancient Greeks it designated the duty of an individual to provide, at his own expense, for public Games held on religious festivals, to outfit ships for the benefit of the state, etc
Crown - ...
"Crown of life" (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:11), "crown of glory that fadeth not away" as the withering garlands of wild olive, ivy, or parsley, given to the victors in the Isthmian and other Games (1 Peter 5:4)
Smyrna - The ferocity of the populace against the aged Polycarp is accounted for by their zealous interest in the Olympian Games celebrated here, in respect to which Christianity bore an antisocial aspect
Lap - ) In card playing and other Games, the points won in excess of the number necessary to complete a game; - so called when they are counted in the score of the following game
Crown - In a figurative sense, a crown signifies honour, splendour, or dignity, Lamentations 5:16 ; Php_4:1 ; and is also used for reward, because conquerors, in the Grecian Games, were crowned, 1 Corinthians 9:25
Palm-Tree - Palm wreaths, and branches waved in the air or strown on the road, are associated not only with the honors paid to ancient conquerors in the Grecian Games and in war, but with the triumphant entry of the King of Zion into Jerusalem, John 12:12-13 , and with his more glorious triumph with his people in heaven, Revelation 7:9
Over - The Olympic Games were over
Throw - Bad Games are thrown up too soon
Boyhood - —The few allusions in the Bible to children’s Games do not allude specially to those of boys. Therefore, soon after the period of infantile Games, comes that of sports practised by each sex alone, and in the case of boys ‘manly’ exercises soon follow, if practised at all. In many parts of the East the climate is often quite unsuited for the ‘school-boy’ Games of Northern lands. 173), a gymnasium was set up, and ‘the very priests forsook their service at the altar and took part in the Games of the palaestra’ (Schürer, i. Games. , which we may call Games of imitation. While we reject the miraculous statements that our Lord endued these figures with life, we may accept the narratives as based on actual childish Games
Table - ) The Games of backgammon and of draughts
Base - ) The point or line from which a start is made; a starting place or a goal in various Games
Diana - ) Games were celebrated at Ephesus in her honor, and her worship was the He uniting politically Ephesus and other cities
Stone - They used likewise to give a white stone to such as conquered in the Grecian Games
Hegesippus, Father of Church History - 8), where he quotes Hegesippus as speaking of certain Games (ἀγών ) instituted in honour of Antinous, a slave of Hadrian, of which he says ἐφ᾿ ἡμῶν γενόμενος (a better established reading than γινόμενος ). But these words seem simply to mean that the Games had been instituted in his own time, thus illustrating the μέχρι νῦν of the preceding sentence
Caesarea - 10 9) with sumptuous Games and entertainments which cost £120,000
Herod the Great - ]'>[1]...
Though Herod was nominally attached to Judaism he tried to introduce into Jerusalem Grecian and Roman Games
Hilarion (1), a Hermit of Palestine - An officer of Majoma, whose duty it was to rear horses for the Circensian Games and who had been always beaten through a spell laid upon his chariot by the votaries of Marnas, the idol of Gaza, won the race when the saint had poured water upon his chariot wheels
Herodians - Herod had introduced several Heathen idolatrous usages; for, as Josephus says, he built a temple to Caesar, near the head of the river Jordan; he erected a magnificent theatre at Jerusalem, instituted Pagan Games, and placed a golden eagle over the gate of the temple of Jehovah; and he furnished the temples, which he reared in several places out of Judea, with images for idolatrous worship, in order to ingratiate himself with the emperor and the people of Rome; though to the Jews he pretended that he did it against his will, and in obedience to the imperial command
Nicopolis - He made it a free city like Athens or Sparta, and instituted so-called Actian Games, which he put on the same level as the four ancient Hellenic festivals
Corinth - The early Greek Corinth had been left desolate for 100 years; its merchants had withdrawn to Delos, and the presidency of the isthmian Games had been transferred to Sicyon, when Julius Caesar refounded the city as a Roman colony. of Corinth, near the Saronic gulf), the scene of the Isthmian Games, are remarkably interesting. The stadium for the foot race (alluded to in 2 Corinthians 1:8-908), and the theater where the pugilists fought (1 Corinthians 9:26), and the pine trees of which was woven the "corruptible crown" or wreath for the conquerors in the Games (1 Corinthians 9:25), are still to be seen
Reprobate - Paul uses the word in a passage where he is comparing the Christian life in its strenuousness to the contests in the Grecian Games
Chief, Chiefest, Chiefly - ...
B — 9: Ἀσιάρχης (Strong's #775 — Noun Masculine — asiarches — as-ee-ar'-khace ) "an Asiarch," was one of certain officers elected by various cities in the province of Asia, whose function consisted in celebrating, partly at their own expense, the public Games and festivals; in Acts 19:31 , RV, the word is translated "chief officers of Asia" (AV, "chief of Asia")
Greece, Religion And Society of - A favorite time for visiting was the athletic Games celebrated at Olympia every four years. Delphi was also important for the Pythian Games celebrated every eight years in honor of Apollo's victory over the monster serpent Python. The festival of Games began with a re-enactment of Apollo's slaying of Python, including large-scale sacrifices, dramatic presentations, musical and athletic contests
Assembly - In classical usage πανήγυρις is the festal assembly of the whole nation, gathered for some solemnity, such as the Olympic Games
Point - ) In various Games, a position of a certain player, or, by extension, the player himself;...
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Name - In illustration of this it may be remarked, that it appears to have been an ancient custom among several nations, to adorn the images of their deities, princes, victors at their public Games, and other eminent persons, with inscriptions expressive of their names, character, titles, or some circumstance which might contribute to their honour
Agrippa - At Caesarea, he had Games performed in honour of Claudius
Set - ) A series of as many Games as may be necessary to enable one side to win six
Severus, l. Septimius - In the autumn of 204 the secular Games were celebrated with great magnificence for the last time
Sympathy - He who watched the Games of the children in the market-place, as they played at weddings and funerals (Matthew 11:17, Luke 7:32), and used their Games as illustrations in His discourses, entered no less readily into the social pleasures of their elders
Corrupt, Verb And Adjective. Corruption, Corruptible, Incorruption, Incorruptible - 2, is used (a) of man as being mortal, liable to decay (in contrast to God), Romans 1:23 ; (b) of man's body as death-doomed, 1 Corinthians 15:53,54 ; (c) of a crown of reward at the Greek Games, 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; (d) of silver and gold, as specimens or "corruptible" things, 1 Peter 1:18 ; (e) of natural seed, 1 Peter 1:23
Diana - Second, Games were established on the Greek model, called Ἀρτεμίσια or Οἰκουμενικά, and were held annually in the month Artemision (=April)
Rome, - Here Christians, wrapped in the skins of beasts, were torn to pieces by dogs, or, clothed in inflammable robes, were burnt to serve as torches during the midnight Games
Polycarpus, Bishop of Smyrna - ...
The story relates that Polycarp's martyrdom was the last act of a great persecution and took place on the occasion of Games held at Smyrna eleven others having suffered before him. These Games were probably held in connection with the meeting of the Asiatic diet (τὸ κοινὸν τῆς Ἀσίας) which met in rotation in the principal cities of the province. Philip the asiarch or president of the Games was called on to loose a lion on Polycarp but refused saying the wild beast shows were now over
Herod - According to Josephus, the occasion of Agrippa’s display at Caesarea was a series of Games in honour of Claudius; no angel of the Lord smote him, but an owl appeared as a portent before the fatal seizure; he was carried to his palace, and lingered in agony for five days
Hadrianus, Publius Aelius, Emperor - Having gained popular favour by gladiatorial Games large donations and the remission of arrears of taxes Hadrian devoted himself for several years from 120 to a personal inspection of the provinces
Trade And Commerce - The Mysteries of Eleusis near Athens and of Samothrace, the Feasts of Dionysus at Argos and of Pythian Apollo at Delphi, the Isthmian Games at Corinth, and the Olympian Games in Elis (Peloponnese), all attracted countless visitors and stimulated trade, being the ancient counterparts of the Stourbridge, Leipzig, and Nijni Novgorod fairs of more modern times
Metaphor - 1 Thessalonians 2:2, Hebrews 10:32): the words ἄθλησις, ἀθλεῖν, ‘contest,’ ‘to take part in a contest,’ are obviously borrowed from the athletic ground; likewise ἀγών, ‘conflict,’ has not our sense of ‘agony’ at all but was simply used of the Games, though the word appears metaphorically in Thuc. -The athletic Games lead on naturally to warfare
Inn - 1) relates that when Herod the Great was celebrating Games at Caesarea, he entertained a number of ambassadors and other visitors at the public inns (καταγωγαῖς)
Herod - He built at Jerusalem a stately theatre and amphitheatre, in which he celebrated Games in honour of Augustus, to the great displeasure of the zealous Jews, who discovered an idolatrous profanation in the theatrical ornaments and spectacles
Herod - He built a theater and amphitheater, and introduced pagan Games in honour of Caesar every fifth year at Jerusalem. 44) he attended Games at Caesarea "in behalf of the emperor's safety" (possibly on his return from Britain), according to Josephus ( Honorius, Flavius Augustus, Emperor - The customary Games took place with great magnificence, and on this occasion St. 400 the Games were forbidden during Lent and the week before Easter, also on Christmas Day and Epiphany
Timothy, Epistles to - Timothy was exhorted to endure hardness as a good soldier, illustration being given by the conduct pursued by those called to war, of such too as contend for mastery in the Games, and of husbandmen
Lucianus, a Famous Satirist - Peregrinus Proteus was a cynic philosopher who flourished in the reign of the Antonines, and who, after a life of singularly perverted ambition, burnt himself publicly at the Olympian Games, a
Trade And Commerce - The Mysteries of Eleusis near Athens and of Samothrace, the Feasts of Dionysus at Argos and of Pythian Apollo at Delphi, the Isthmian Games at Corinth, and the Olympian Games in Elis (Peloponnese), all attracted countless visitors and stimulated trade, being the ancient counterparts of the Stourbridge, Leipzig, and Nijni Novgorod fairs of more modern times
Greece - There arose in Athens the temple of the new Zeus Panhellenios, and brilliant popular festivals and Games were connected with this foundation, the carrying out of which pertained to the collegium of the Panhellenes, and primarily to the priest of Hadrian as the living god who founded them’ (Mommsen, op
Laughter - ]'>[4] He watched, if He did not join in, the merry Games of children (Luke 7:32), and loved their company
Arts - See article Games
Education - ...
Games had some part in the life of Jewish schoolboys. See art ‘Games’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols)
Josephus - Here Josephus writes as follows:...
‘Now when [10]9 had reigned three years over all Judaea he came to the city of Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato’s Tower, and there he provided Games in honour of Caesar, thus instituting a festival for the emperor’s health. On the second day of the Games he put on a robe made wholly of silver and of a wonderful texture, and came into the theatre at the dawn of day
Herod - He built amphitheatres, patronized the Greek Games and, so far as his temperament and opportunities permitted, Greek literature
the Children of Capernaum Playing at Marriages And Funerals in the Market-Place - The workmen and the workwomen of the town are sitting in the shade after the work of the day is over, and the children, having been released from school, are boisterously engaged in their evening Games
Job - And we shall reflect that the Games, and sports, and talks of the playground will bring things out of our children's hearts that we never see nor hear at home
Patricius, or Saint Patrick - Discoveries in Spain last century showed that decurions were established by the Romans in every little mining village, charged with the care of the Games, the water supply, sanitary arrangements, education, and the local fortifications; while Hübner in the Corp
Prudentius, Marcus (?) Aurelius Clemens Prudentius - 403, and before the abolition of the gladiatorial Games, a
Reality - His demeanour was that of unstudied simplicity; and when occasion suited, He could unbend and let joy and cheerfulness have their genial flow,—looking with amused interest on the children at their Games (Matthew 11:16-17), sharing the gladness of the social gathering (John 2:1-10), or lighting up His discourse with flashes of playfulness (Luke 11:5-8)
the Prodigal Son - The Games, the shows, the theatres, the circuses, the feasts, the dances, the freedom of all kinds; there is absolutely nothing that a young man's heart can desire that is not open to him who brings a good purse of money to the city with him
Agony - ἁγορά); (2) a place of assembly, especially the place in which the Greeks assembled to celebrate solemn Games; (3) a contest of athletes, runners or charioteers
Isidorus, Archbaptist of Seville - War and various Games, in 69
Antiochus - These usurpers of the high priesthood, to gratify the Syrians, assumed the manners of the Greeks, their Games and exercises, and neglected the worship of the Lord, and the temple service
High Priest - A gymnasium at Jerusalem was built for the apostate Jews, and they endeavoured to conceal their circumcision when stripped at the Games
Roman Law in the nt - He was president of the Games, and had an undefined influence in civil affairs
Athenagoras - (c ) They are even more humane than the heathen, condemning abortion, infanticide, and gladiatorial Games as murder
Childhood - Truly Jewish Games, however, were but few
Proverbs - King Herod the Great had built a magnificent theatre at Jerusalem and an equally magnificent amphitheatre, and had instituted athletic contests every four years after the pattern of the Greek Games
Corinthians, First Epistle to the - He teaches self-denial and earnestness from the example of the Isthmian Games ( 1 Corinthians 9:24 ff
Hellenism - The free citizen devoted his time mostly to athletics, and the Games were always attended by a large crowd
Ignatius - Rome gathered victims from all the ends of the earth to take part in the cruel Games of her amphi-theatre
Gospels (Apocryphal) - The child Jesus is a boy among boys, taking His part in the usual Games and occupations of childhood; and yet the belief in His supernatural dignity is evidenced by the extraordinary miracles attributed to Him, and by His astonishing knowledge, which drew the confession from His teacher: ‘This child is not earthborn; assuredly he was born before the creation of the world’ (ch
Mental Characteristics - Now it was the flowers of the country side that won His attention (Luke 12:27), now the Games of the children in the market-place (Luke 7:32), now the habits of the wild creatures (Luke 9:58), or their unconsidered treatment in captivity (Luke 12:6), now the details of the yeoman’s employment (Matthew 13:3-8; Matthew 12:11, Luke 13:11), now the unnoticed self-denial of a poor woman in a crowd (Mark 12:43)
Poet - When to these utterances we add the fact that He was interested in the very human children who played and quarrelled in the marketplace at their Games of marriages and funerals (Matthew 11:16), we have said enough to show very plainly His sympathy with the poetry of childhood
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch - He speaks of the death of Ignatius, knowing that the sentence in Antioch made it certain; probably knowing also the date of the Games at which he was to die
Clemens Romanus of Rome - We therefore refer the place of composition to Rome, notwithstanding an apparent reference to the Isthmian Games which favours a connexion with Corinth
Justinianus i, Emperor - He cared little for vulgar pleasures (though he shewed an excessive partiality for the blue faction, he does not appear to have been personally addicted to the Games of the circus), and yielded to no influences except those of his wife Theodora